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Cricketer Ambati Rayudu failed to clear the Yo-Yo fitness test. Ace hockey player Sardar Singh beat the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli’s test score in Yo-Yo test. You might have heard of Yo-Yo a lot lately in the news, but what on the earth is it?

Yo-Yo Test in Cricket
Don’t fall for the name as it is not some cool or fun test in the game of cricket. Under Virat Kohli’s tenure, it is a compulsory intense fitness test that every Indian player must survive to be fit for playing cricket. It is in fact a variation of the Beep test, a multi-stage fitness test also known as the PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) test, which was created by Luc Leger of the University of Montreal, where an athlete was required to run from one line to another non-stop before a timed beep and one can no longer run. The number of laps was recorded and as the test continued, the time between beeps shortened. It was not compulsory though.

The Yo-Yo fitness test was then later modified by Danish scientist Dr Jens Bengbu for footballers, to evaluate an athlete’s aerobic capacity. But then, the former cricketer Anil Kemble introduced this fitness test to Indian players during his tenure as Team India coach, which is now taken and carried out very seriously by the fitness freak Virat Kohli.

How is the Yo-Yo Endurance Test Conducted? 
Set-Up, cricket ground training
The gruelling routine of Yo-Yo intermittent test is a series of shuttle runs between cones placed 25 metres apart from each other. Three cones let’s say, A, B and C are placed with the following distance in a sequence:
● Cone A and B – 5 metres
● Cone B and C – 20 metres

Once the beep goes off, the player starts running from cone B and has to reach C before the second beep. He has to then return to B before the third beep. This makes up one ‘shuttle’. Upon reaching B, the player can walk/jog to cone A and back to B which is a 10 second rest period in between each shuttle.

As the speed level increases, the time for completing the shuttle decreases. Starting at 5 and level 9, the player has to complete one shuttle, for level 11 – two shuttles, 12 – three shuttles and 13 – four shuttles. From level 14 onwards, each level has 8 shuttles till level 23, which is the highest speed level. If the player fails to reach the cone at any point, he gets the first warning and 3 such warnings indicate the end of the test. The total distance covered is the Yo-Yo test score.

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The benchmark Yo-Yo score for Indian cricketers is set at 19:5 level (here 16 is the level and 5 is the number of shuttles the player has completed at that level before the end of the test) which is low compared to Pakistan, who have fixed up to 17:4 and New Zealand who have the highest—20:1. Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey have scored 19 and 19:2 respectively. The Yo-Yo test app is software based and is only available on the App Store.

Yo-Yo test is for all sports players and not just cricket but the importance of it is more in cricket because it is a start-stop sport and not continuous like football or tennis where a player is physically active only in periods like while running between the wickets or bowling and is at rest during fielding or when waiting for their turn to bat. It increases aerobic capacity and improves the focus on batting or bowling, and the ability to recover from injuries. The only way Yo-Yo test can be perfected is by adding activities like burpees, box jumps, jumping knee tucks and power push-ups to your daily workout routine.